ABOUT THE ARTIST
Joshua LaRock is internationally recognized as a preeminent figurative artist. LaRock's exquisite paintings are an ode to the past filtered through a contemporary life. His portraits and narrative pieces alike are memorable for both their emotive quality and for evoking an eerily present feeling. Inspired by Bouguereau and other masters of the past, LaRock imbues a shade of the timeless, drawing the viewer deeper into his personal interpretation of how the world ought to be.
Among LaRock’s most striking works are those of his wife, Laura. In 2012, “Portrait of the Artist’s Wife” was hailed as ‘deserving special attention’ during the historic America China Oil Painting Artists League exhibit at the Beijing World Art Museum. While “Laura in Black” was part of the prestigious BP Portrait Award 2016 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London and is the subject of his premier instructional video “The Layers of Portrait Painting”.
LaRock is represented by Collins Galleries, Cape Cod; Portraits, Inc.; Maxwell Alexander Gallery, LA; Stephen Ling, Beijing. He has participated in exhibitions throughout the US, Europe and China, is recognized as an Art Renewal Center Living Master, and is much sought after as a workshop instructor. Joshua currently lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children. He is dedicated to painting that invites humanity into the timeless story of beauty.
I am dedicated to painting that invites humanity into the timeless story of beauty. We are all desperate for affirmation that things are more than what they seem, that we are part of a story bigger than ourselves. Art is evidence that this is, in fact, so. When arranged skillfully, simple pigments and ground earth have the potential to become emotion, love, narrative—in other words, within a painting these raw materials transform into something which is tangible but profound, and much more than the sum of its parts. Beauty generates wonder, shapes our desires for the good and true, and ultimately produces hope.
I am a champion of beauty—and in my work I have no other aim.
JOSHUA ON RUBLEV COLOURS
Rublev Colours has truly opened my eyes to an entire world of possibilities with my materials. So much of what George and Tatiana teach in their “Painting Best Practices” Workshop was completely unknown to me prior attending. The information is invaluable and the practical application of this knowledge has made a great difference in my work. One such revelation came after switching every color possible on my palette to a Rublev Colours and changing my support to their Lead Alkyd Ground, I have happily found that much of the “sinking-in” effect as the paint dries has been greatly mitigated.
Another such discovery for me was in the are of rheology—or for our purposes, the way the paint handles. I was greatly surprised to learn that much of our modern pigments we buy at the local art store are ground much differently than that of the old masters—or any paint prior to 1900 for that matter. Most pigments are ground to have a very fine and homogenous particle size and this has a very significant effect on the paint consistency—“buttery” it is often called. Conversely, Rublev Colours are ground to have larger particle sizes with a greater variety of size and shape which, wonderfully, results in a paint which flows under the brush and is thixotropic. I have found that these qualities enable me to make certain effects while painting with far greater ease and a much more satisfying paint facture.
One other major take away for me is the unnecessary addition of resins, or varnish, in oil painting. George has helped convince me that the painting effects I observe and aspire to in the great works of the past are not necessarily the result of mediums which contain resins. On the contrary, much of what I am after can be achieved simply with quality oils at a variety of viscosities (walnut oil gel and sun-thickened linseed oil are two of my standards) and the addition of amendments like calcite (as found in their Velazquez medium). With just these three mediums I can do a tremendous amount of altering my paints’ handling, drying-time, and transparency. Not only does this help me achieve the desired visual results, it also creates a painting which is far less likely to crack with age due to brittle resins.
Join a workshop taught by Joshua LaRock
JOSHUA LAROCK PALETTE
Laura in Black, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2016
Self Reflection, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2017
Thoughts, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches, 2017
The Flower Painter, oil on canvas, 24 x 17 inches, 2017